The Provincial Statistics Committee participated in the coastal cleanup in celebration of the Month of the Ocean at Apo Island in Dauin town.
The Department of Environment & Natural Resources here led the cleanup with a briefing on the importance of sustainable practices in waste management and protect aquatic resources.
The PSC commits to support the activity to continuously protect Apo Island, one of the top diving sites in the world, from environmental threats on the island’s marine biodiversity resources.
This year’s theme, Sustainably Feed the Global Population, emphasizes the critical need for action to promote responsible management and conservation of the ocean’s resources through the implementation of sustainable fishing and aquaculture practices and the protection of critical habitats.
Marvin Bangaysiso, assistant protected area superintendent of Apo Island, has sought the cooperation and support from the community and visitors or stakeholders to sustain the rich biodiversity in Apo Island Protected Landscape and Seascape, and promote responsible ecotourism.
Bangaysiso said that Apo Island has better practices in protecting its marine resources through regular cleanups, practice proper waste disposal through single-use of plastic materials, drive on the protection of sea turtles among others from members of the Apo Island Women’s Association, the Apo Island Scuba Equipment Rental & Guiding Association, the Apo Island Environmental Stewards Association, and various government agencies.
DENR has been conducting information, education and communication campaigns to increase awareness and generate commitments that are intended to save threatened species from extinction.
Residents are also employed as fish wardens, protected area rangers, utility staff and others.
Annually, the DENR also provides eco-tourism trainings such as food handling to community-organizations to enhance the skills of the residents and opportunities for their livelihood which is relevant to continue the cycle of sustainability.
Eco-tourism livelihood sources include dive guides, snorkeling with the turtle guides, souvenirs, and food services, among others.
PSC participating agencies in the Month of the Ocean celebration also include the Department of Trade & Industry, the Philippine Information Agency, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Provincial Planning Development Office, Provincial Tourism Unit, Provincial Social Welfare & Development Office, the Negros Oriental Provincial Police Office. (JCT/PIA7 NegOr)